Intel Corp. launched on Thursday the Atom processor in the Philippines, which measures 45 nanometers, or roughly the size of an adult fingernail.
Navin Shenoy, Intel Asia Pacific vice president and general manager, said the Atom will usher in a new of computers optimized for the internet, with long battery cost and low cost.
The Atom N270 is targetted at a new mobile computer market category known as netbooks or sometimes also called the ultra low-cost personal computers (ULPCs) or ultra mobile PCs (UMPCs). The Atom 230, on the other hand, is targetted for nettops, or affordable desktop computers.
Shenoy said netbooks and nettops are aimed at becoming a child’s first computer. They are also targetted at families needing a second or third computer at home, and mobile professionals who need a second or third lightweight mobile device.
Shenoy said Intel was able to help bring down the cost of these computers and mobile devices with a powerful and processor. Today, some 2,500 Atom chips can be produced in a single wafer while only 200-300 chips can be produced from a single wafer previously.
Intel is addressing the cost issue since affordability is still a key challenge in owning a computer, particularly in the Philippines, noted Ricky Banaag, Intel Philippines country manager.
The estimated number of internet users at 4.9 million is small, compared to the total Filipino population of 90 million. This indicates that cost is an issue, Banaag said.
He further supported this observation with data on broadband household penetration of only four percent or roughly 700,000 households out of 17 million households in the country.
Given these statistics, Intel officials are confident that there is a significant market opportunity for their Atom processor.
Their confidence is further supported by market research data saying that the nettop and netbook marget segment will grow to over 100 million users by 2011.
Since the official launch of Atom in Taiwan last June, Intel noted the tremendous market response in the Phililippines. Some of Intel’s vendor partners have been offering their versions of the netbooks as early as late-July. Intel said more than 60 netbook designs have been introduced since the launch of Atom.
The average retail price of these devices is around P20,000 depending on the configuration.
Banaag added that netbooks are meant for content consumption-type of applications. Examples are for internet access, including email and minimal content creation for social networks such as Multiply.
For 3D applications, online gaming, video editing and other multi-tasking tasks, Intel is offering the market the Centrino chip introduced in 2003 and scheduled for another upgrade. – GMANews.TV
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